People don’t leave company, people leave their bosses/managers..
– Corporate Adage
The ‘Boss’ (not Rajnikant I am talking about here 🙂 ), much to our liking is the most important character in our day-to-day work life. Our interface to the senior management, the go-to person for any issue or grievance (work/salary/leave etc.) and most importantly, assigns and reviews the work we do. Apart from our co-workers/friends, it is the boss we interact the most in our offices. Trust me (lot of people would believe me!), it takes a lot of hard work and meticulous planning to get in the good books of bosses. Off course, old school of thought makes us believe that its the ‘work’ we are paid and our excellent work would only win us accolades. Thats passe (or so 20th centuryish!!!)… Take a good look at year on year appraisal of that co-worker (who is your boss’ apple of the eye)…I am sure you now get what I mean.
In today’s fast-paced-attrition-heavy-opportunities-aplenty environment, organizations change rapidly. So do your bosses. Shit! There goes all your favorable equations / work place comfort down the drain. Back to Square One (and its not home run!). You have a new boss!! Suddenly, you feel uneasy about going to work, have apprehensions about the new guy, think about you role being reduced/limited, and sometimes – start considering about moving out too.. Well, boss is a reality! Anywhere you go, whatever work you do, you would in all certainty have a boss to contend with (unless its your company!)….
I read an article Ravi Subramanian did for The Economic Times – Making the Right Connect with New Boss , it took my thoughts to all the times I had had a new boss / joined a new company. It all made perfect sense. Here’s an excerpt from the article –
Dealing with a new boss when your relationship with your old boss was good, perhaps even better than with the new boss, can be demanding , even stressful. On the other, dealing with a new boss when your relationship with your old boss was bad can be rejuvenatingly wonderful.
I believe if you strike good professional relationship with your boss, it goes a long way in achieving better expectation setting, recognition of work and effort, work-life balance and eventually a longer stay in an organization. I don’t think any good relationship is a by-product of chance or luck, you gotta work towards nurturing it. Unlike other relationships, you can bring a method in how you approach the professional relationship between you and your boss and make it work. Read on for things-to-do when you have a new boss,
#1 Take Initiative – You need to take initiative in the first communication or first casual chat. Usually, you either get to know via email that you have a new boss or he is introduced to you while taking the facility rounds. Be sure to get your first impression right by taking this step. Try and engage (or book time for meeting as Ravi mentions in the article) your boss even before he does it. That shows you are ready to welcome him and all set to start the new relationship and not apprehensive about the new situation. Trust me, even if he would be thinking how to get this started. Make it all easy for him and get moving…
#2 The Common Factor – To cut the ice, nothing works like digging past. Find out about your boss’ background (from introductory mail, HR, Facebook/Twitter/Orkut or Linkedin) and find out if you have worked for the same organization, studied in same school or some of the people you know might have worked in the same organization as his/her’s. This helps you make connection in no time!….For those of you, who can’t find anything in common, try stocks and investments (every manager has money invested in stock market!!)…Just show him/her your prowess by throwing some stock tips, and you definitely reach in the select category. If you are not the bulls and bears type, find out a common hobby or interest – cricket, music, reading, outdoor sports …anything.. read a few articles from Internet and get going….We all tend to find common ground, people with common interest and taste…Don’t we all love our comfort zones? Would you believe it – My VP in one organization asked me to help place an IPO order and my sales head ask for my collection of songs for his iPod!!!
#3 Be a Buddy – The more time you spend with your boss, more likely to know about his likes/dislikes and adjust with him…and the best way to do this it be a buddy for your boss by showing him around your office, having lunch with him, helping him with bank account opening, finance forms etc… There are lot of areas where people need help and HR might not be available all the time.. try chipping in and be informal about things… This also works as your boss is new in organization, would look for company and definitely like to know undercurrents of the company…Offload all your intelligence about work culture, internal politics, projects and anything about the company which no one else would tell…;)…Nothing sells like grapevine!!
#4 Impress With Work – Well, nothing unusual about this. But, being little more active up ‘n’ early with a new boss will not hurt you. In fact, it will go a long way in building up the trust and faith on your capabilities. Work everyone does, but doing it smartly, thats what you gotta do. How do you do that? Simple, underpromise and overdeliver!!
Bottomline – Better learn to adjust and stop being fussy/cribby about a new person. Quitting should be the last thing on your mind – its a bad, bad world out there and sharks are everywhere looking for a prey like you…:)